“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
During Lent, followers of Jesus prepare themselves spiritually for the special holy week when we remember that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again out of love for us. Believers often ‘give up’ a pleasure in order to remind themselves of Christ’s suffering. This ‘giving up’ can include the idea of abstaining from coffee or chocolate or t.v. On the other hand, sometimes a believer will ‘give’ something special as an offering to Christ. This giving can include the ideas of donating money or time to a worthy cause.
This year, as I considered what I would do to prepare myself spiritually for the holy week, I was struck by the idea of not only ‘giving up’ but also of ‘giving.’ I decided to add a ‘giving’ action to my Easter preparations. I asked God to show me how I could love him and others in a more practical way. Several ideas immediately came to my mind: spending time with a lonely neighbour, visiting someone in the hospital, inviting someone over for lunch to encourage them. The list quickly became quite long and it has been a joy to work my way through this ‘love list’ in recent weeks.
People often make comments about my name. Having ‘Love’ as a last name is definitely a conversation starter! Usually I joke about marrying my husband so that I could acquire his name 🙂 As Christians, we have taken the name of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are ‘little Christs.’ Every day we are walking around and touching peoples’ lives in the name of Jesus. We are showing God’s love to others in the name of Jesus. There will probably be people that we see today or tomorrow who have no one in their life who prays for them, who loves them in Jesus’ name, who cares about them. We are the Jesus in their life.
Let the Bible verses above remind us all today that showing our love for God by loving those around us is a very practical way that we can prepare ourselves spiritually for the holy week. God demonstrated his love for us even as sinners through Christ’s death (Romans 5:8). Let us be ‘little Christs’ by showing God’s love to others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your love. Thank you for showing me your love through Christ’s death. As I reflect on the upcoming remembrance of your suffering and death, help me to show Your love to others. Bring someone to my mind or into my life whom you want to love through me. In the name of Jesus I ask this, Amen.
Contributed by Patti Love